A Moray man who launched a racist tirade at a takeaway owner when he was asked to pay for cheese has been spared prison.
Thomas McLean, from Lossiemouth, became confrontational when he was told extra cheese on his burger at Elgin eatery Mambo Italiano would cost more.
The 22-year-old started shouting at staff, calling them “stingy”, and referring to one of them with a racist slur.
Yesterday, McLean was told to wear an electronic tag after admitting shouting racist abuse and swearing in the Elgin High Street eatery.
At one point during the incident, the unemployed man said: “You are an immigrant. You come here to our country and think you can charge us for cheese.”
Fiscal Alex Swain explained that McLean entered the premises at about 6.30pm on February 8.
After being told about the cheese surcharge he started pacing up and down in the store while shouting the abuse.
Miss Swain explained the owner of the restaurant and his wife were the targets of the tirade.
The duo called the police after McLean left the store. Officers arrested him later the same night.
Defence solicitor Robert Cruickshank accepted his client’s behaviour had been “unacceptable”.
He added: “He is appalled by his behaviour and is thoroughly ashamed. He had recently been told about the death of his older brother and was using alcohol as a coping mechanism.
“I don’t say that to minimise his conduct, but only to explain it.”
Sheriff Robert McDonald said: “The behaviour that has been described to me is completely unacceptable. You should understand that by now.”
McLean, of St Margaret’s Crescent in Lossiemouth, was placed under supervision for 12 months and was given a six-month curfew after admitting behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm by shouting, swearing and uttering offensive remarks.